Why Brighton should avoid a move for Romain Alessandrini
According to Daily Express (h/t Birmingham Live), Brighton are among a host of clubs linked with a move for French winger Romain Alessandrini, who is out of contract at Los Angeles Galaxy in the Major League Soccer.
Premier League rivals Aston Villa, Watford and West Ham have also been credited with an interest in the 30-year-old, who is currently looking for a new club following the expiry of his contract at LA Galaxy (Express h/t Birmingham Live).
Despite spending the majority of the previous campaign on the sidelines with a knee injury, Alessandrini’s two-and-a-half-year stint in the United States proved to be a raging success.
The left-footed winger bagged 24 goals and 23 assists in 63 appearances for LA Galaxy in all competitions, following his move across the Atlantic from French heavyweights Marseille back in January 2017.
Alessandrini started his footballing education at his hometown club Marseille and completed his development at lower division outfit Gueugnon before moving on to join Clermont Foot in the summer of 2010.
Impressive returns of 11 goals in each of his two seasons at Clermont Foot paved the way for a move to the top-flight with Rennes, where he scored 20 times in 60 appearances before joining Ligue 1 rivals Marseille in 2014.
The 30-year-old struggled to make the same kind of impact at his new club but he competed for the first time in Europe, nevertheless. Alessandrini clocked up 65 appearances for Marseille before departing for the MLS with LA Galaxy in January 2017.
Despite his absence from Europe over the past two years, the veteran seems to be on the verge of a return to the continent, with several Premier League clubs weighing up a free transfer for the 30-year-old Frenchman.
With Potter quitting his job at Swansea City to take up the role at Brighton in the summer, the Seagulls spent big in the transfer market to provide the new manager with some top-quality players.
Neal Maupay, Adam Webster and Leandro Trossard came through the door as the key marquee signings while Aaron Mooy was also roped in on a season-long loan deal from Huddersfield Town.
To that end though, Brighton have endured a rather slow start to life under their new manager. While there have been some obvious signs of promise, the Seagulls will need to improve considerably in the second half of the campaign if they are to push on for a respectable mid-table finish.
Having scored 16 and conceded 21 goals in 14 games so far, Brighton currently sit 16th in the standings, just three points above the relegation zone.
Hence, attacking reinforcements would once again be a priority for the Seagulls.
With that in mind, however, Brighton’s interest in Romain Alessandrini doesn’t strike the right chords for a number of reasons.
Firstly, his age could prove to be problematic. Brighton roped in some exciting young players like Maupay, Trossard, Webster and Matt Clarke in January and Alessandrini is not someone who is in the upward curve of his career.
Secondly, Alessandrini has been away from the European game for more than two years and a return to the continent, especially to the highly-competitive atmosphere of the Premier League, might make it difficult for him to start firing on all cylinders once again.
Notwithstanding the fact that Brighton can certainly do with more options down the flanks, they need to sort out the futures of a number of attacking players before making any further additions.
Florin Andone and Jurgen Locadia are currently out on loan at Galatasaray and Hoffenheim respectively while Jose Izquierdo is yet to make a single appearance this season due to his ongoing issues with a knee injury.
Furthermore, big-money Iranian recruit Alireza Jahanbakhsh has been gathering dust under Potter this term, with the 26-year-old restricted to a solitary appearance for the Seagulls in the EFL Cup.
Taking into consideration that all the aforementioned players are capable of playing wide roles on either side of the pitch, Brighton would probably need to sell before they buy another out-and-out winger like Romain Alessandrini.
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All in all, the Seagulls would be better off dropping their interest in the French star, even if it means bringing him in on a free transfer.